Joanne’s Background

US Department of Veterans Affairs Attorney Accreditation – 2010
J.D. – John Marshall Law School, Chicago – 1995
Licensed: State of Wisconsin – 1996
Licensed: State of Illinois – 1995
B.S. Western Illinois University – 1984
Associate Degree – Paralegal Studies – 1985

Private Practice: Attorney Joanne Leifheit, LLC – 1/1/10 to present
Waukesha County Corporation Counsel Contract Attorney – Guardianships and Protective Placement – 2/03 to 3/09
Attorney: Congdon, Walden, Schuster & Vaklyes, S.C. – 9/05 to 12/09
Private Practice: Attorney Joanne Leifheit – 9/99 to 9/05
Attorney: Mitchell, Baxter, O’Meara & Mathie – 97-98
Guest Adjunct Faculty Member:  UW-Madison Law School – 2011, 2014
Former Adjunct Faculty Member: Marquette University Undergraduate – Pre-Law, various semesters
Former Instructor: MBTI Paralegal Studies Program – various semesters
Paralegal: 8 years
Claims Adjuster: 1.5 years
Private Investigator: 6 mos.


Author:  The Little Book of Big Tips:  The Veterans Pension Benefit Handbook for Seniors and their Families (2011)

Chosen by Milwaukee’s Lifestyle Magazine (“M Magazine”) as a “Leading Lawyer” in the greater Milwaukee area; 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015

Faculty Member:  State Bar of Wisconsin, Continuing Legal Education Seminar on WisPACT Pooled Special Needs Trusts (2014)

Chair of the Board of Directors (2017) Wispact, Inc., Pooled Special Needs Trusts for the Disabled Non-Profit Organization

Member, Wispact, Inc., Board of Directors (2015-2018)

Past President: Waukesha County Bar Association Probate & Estate Planning Section – 07-08, 08-09, 09-10, 10-11, 11-12

Member: National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) – 1/11 to present

Board Member, State Bar of Wisconsin, Elder Law and Special Needs Section (July, 2016 to June, 2019)

Member: Pewaukee Chamber of Commerce – 3/10 to 12/13
Member: Wisconsin Bar Association
Member: Waukesha County Bar Association
Member: Milwaukee County Bar Association
Member: Association for Women Lawyers
Former Board Member – Girl Scouts, Great Blue Heron Council
Former Board Member – Waukesha County Commission on Aging – 04-07
Former Board Member – Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Waukesha County (RSVP) – 03-05
Mock Trial Judge for the Wisconsin High School Competition – 01-03
Speaking Engagements:  Volunteer speaker on various legal topics – including churches, Waukesha County, funeral homes, and community organizations (see below for most recent)


2015 to present:  Multiple engagements on a yearly basis

2014 – Waukesha County Technical College, Financial Milestone Series, “Grown Up Concerns” and “Women and Financial Milestones – Legal Concerns for Women”

2014 – Complimentary Workshops for Clients, Monthly beginning January, 2014

2012 – LawReviewCLE, Instructor to Lawyer Audience:  “Estate Planning Basics”

2012 – The Caring Place (Adult Day Care Center for Seniors, Waukesha, Wisconsin):  “VA Pension Benefits and Other Benefits for Care Needs (Family Care, Medicaid)”

2012 – WISN News Talk 1130 AM Radio on “Money Sense” with Karen Ellenbecker:  “Veterans and Senior Long Term Care Benefits”

2012 – Waukesha Noon Rotary Club:  “My Parents’ Care Needs are Increasing… What do I do Now?”

2012 – Berndt-Ledesma Funeral Home:  “Veterans Benefits for Aid and Attendance”

2012 – Two additional speaking engagements are currently scheduled and two are awaiting confirmation of dates


Joanne was raised in a farming community and now resides in Waukesha with her husband, two dogs and a cat.  She is a lifelong equestrienne and owns a naughty, but cute, thoroughbred named Tucker.  She enjoys camping ‘up north’ near the Hayward area, where she vacations during the summers and sometimes is ambitious enough to fish for musky with her husband (unless there’s a good book waiting to be read).  Joanne loves a good fish fry.  (Right now, the 5 O’clock Club is her favorite for a fish fry, but she is always looking for new places to add to her list!)

Joanne is a proud member of the dynamic Pewaukee Chamber of Commerce (